They’re here! They’re here! They’re finally here! All season long I’ve been dreaming about them and they’re finally here!
I’m talking about the playoffs of course, and they’re finally upon us! The hockey season is almost over.
Imagine if you will, life with three goalies in your household. Not too long ago, this was my reality and I must admit it was a bit of a blur. For two of the last fourteen hockey seasons, all three of my players were goalies. The regular hockey season was hectic enough, but quickly fell into a semi-predictable clichéd pattern of eat, sleep, hockey, repeat. That changed with the playoffs and we entered a whole other level of ‘crazy.’ I still have a vivid memory (or nightmare) of our family wall calendar splattered in red, for red was the ink colour I used to record the hockey schedule for each of our three minor hockey players. See, our kids’ hockey lives started before the days of cloud-shared iCal and Google Calendars—or at least before I knew how to use them.
We waited not-so-patiently for all the final league games to be played out to determine final rankings. The strengths and weakness of first round opponents were bandied about just as expressively as the pros and cons of an essential new pre-game music playlist. The car was gassed up and hockey tape supply restocked.
And let’s not forget the playoff superstitions. God forbid we should have a funeral or wedding to go to during the playoffs because there is no point arguing—the hair cut will not happen until after the playoffs are over. There were days I was sure a therapist would be more useful in this house of goalies than this hockey mom.
Hockey bags routinely aired out in our foyer between playoff games and extra practices that were scheduled like rapid fire during the playoffs. I still get sweats when I think of someone accidentally throwing the Lefty’s blocker into the Righty’s goalie bag before heading out to the playoff game. I still panic when I arrive at the rink and can’t find a single recognizable hockey parent from our team, thinking for a moment that I’ve messed up the red ink on the calendar and have brought the right goalie to the wrong arena. And we still can’t speak opening about the time my daughter lent her older brother’s prized goalie stick (the one with all the good saves in it) to her friend for a little afternoon ODR fun.
Yes, all this fun and we haven’t even made it to the arena for the playoff game.
If you asked me today I’m not sure if I could remember the score of a single game from any of my kids’ previous playoff seasons. My job was to get them there and to cheer them on. It didn’t really matter whether I was going to a competitive level game or house league. The postseason hockey my kids play always brings a new level of excitement—and activity—to our household.
Three cheers for the home team – and let the playoffs begin!
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